Skip to product information
1 of 9

Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club

Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club

Yale University Press

Regular price $50.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $50.00 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

In stock

Chosen as a Smithsonian Scholar Favorite Book of 2022 by Karen Milbourne, curator, National Museum of African Art.

The first book to feature Jacob Lawrence’s Nigeria series, this richly illustrated volume also highlights Africa’s place as a global center of modernist art and culture.

This revelatory book shines a light on the understudied but important influence of African Modernism on the work of Black American artist Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000). In 1965, a New York gallery displayed Lawrence’s Nigeria series: eight tempera paintings of Lagos and Ibadan marketplaces that were the culmination of an eight-month stay in Nigeria. Lawrence’s residency in Nigeria put him in touch with the Mbari Artists and Writers Club, an international consortium of artists and writers in post-independence Nigeria that published the arts journal Black Orpheus.

The book and accompanying exhibition place the Nigeria series alongside issues of Black Orpheus and artwork created by Mbari Club artists, including Uche Okeke, Jacob Afolabi, Susanne Wenger, and Naoko Matsubara. Diverse essays explore the influence of Africa’s post-colonial movement on American modernists and developing African artists; the women of the Mbari group; and the importance of art publications in circulating knowledge globally.

  • Product Type: Exhibition Catalog, Hardcover
  • 228 pages, with 153 illustrations
  • Published in 2022
  • Shipping Dimensions: 12.0 × 9.0 × 1.0 inches  (30.5 × 22.9 × 2.5 cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 4.0 lb (64.0 oz; 1814 g)
  • SKU010007712 | 9780300263176

In these collections:

All Products | Black History Month | Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club | Books & Media | Exhibition Catalogs | Jacob Lawrence |
View full details
Jacob Lawrence as a young man

About the Artist

Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Armstead Lawrence (1917 – 2000) was an American painter known for his portrayal of African-American historical subjects and contemporary life. Lawrence referred to his style as "dynamic cubism," an art form popularized in Europe which drew great inspiration from West African and Meso-American art. For his compositions, Lawrence found inspiration in everyday life in Harlem. He brought the African-American experience to life using blacks and browns juxtaposed with vivid colors. He also taught and spent 16 years as a professor at the University of Washington.

Jacob Lawrence in the Chrysler Museum
  • Thank you!

    For more than fifty years, every purchase from the Chrysler Shop supports the non-profit mission and educational programs of the Chrysler Museum of Art. Thank you for your support!

  • Membership has its benefits!

    Learn more about how you can support the Chrysler Museum and reap the benefits! Member perks include discounts, exhibition previews, reciprocal memberships and more!